Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Top 10 people who are currently ruining baseball for me

I’m sure some people will be scratching their head by this list…but I don’t care. Yesterday it was announced that Joe Morgan will not be back as the color commentator for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Much rejoicing around the baseball universe occurred on this news...and I was joining in as I just can’t stand this Hall-of-Famer who really doesn't understand today’s game and has a warped view of the game from his playing days. I always felt that Morgan’s contributions to the ESPN broadcasts ruined what typically is known now as the baseball game of the week on ESPN.

So today I thought I would list out the other people who do the same thing as Morgan, ruin baseball. These are the top 10 people who are ruining my enjoyment of game and I wish they would just go away.

10. Craig Sager
There are homes for people like this.
For those of you who don’t know who this dork is, he is the one of the on-field reporters for TBS. Sager is known for his horrible toupee and colorful polyester suits. The problem is that he appears to have no clue what baseball is or what’s going on in the games. TBS thankfully made the move to get rid of Chip Carey from the booth as their primary play-by-play guy for the playoffs, but they still need to throw this wanna-be, who doesn't really do basketball reporting well either, to the curb as well. He single handedly destroys TBS’s coverage of the MLB Playoffs.

9. Tom Ricketts
Smile, you're $450 million in debt and have shitty team.
I really wanted to leave Tom off of this list. I really did. In the end, I just couldn’t. Last year’s 20% hike in ticket prices, delays in the Wrigley renovation, reduced payroll, with money wasted on polishing up the troughs in the men’s bathrooms, rock and rap music blasting from the Wrigley Field speakers, Jim Hendry still GM…I’m sorry but Year One makes me sick to my stomach. I hope Year Two is a little better. Maybe Tom doesn't need to go away entirely, but he probably needs to be a little less visible and spend more time fixing this mess of an organization.

8. Tim McCarver
Oh, yeah...and he's a former Cardinal.
My hope and dream is that Fox follows the lead of ESPN and kicks their primary color commentator to the curb. Tim McCarver has been hurting my ears with his irrelevant commentary for practically my entire baseball fandom. He’s not funny. He’s not clever. He’s not knowledgeable about today’s game. I’m pretty sure he’s legally blind now too as he can't make a solid call on even a ball or strike. I always got the impression that he got hit in the head with a few too many balls from his playing days. McCarver brings down the talent of Joe Buck much like Joe Morgan did with Jon Miller. (That being said, Joe Buck is no Jon Miller.)

7. Albert Pujols
Ah...I see his helmet doesn't fit his bloated head anymore.
Yes, maybe I’m a bit jealous of this guy because he’s on the Cardinals and not the Cubs, but it’s going to take a hell of a lot of convincing to move me from my belief that this guy isn’t a cheater. Looking at his rise in the minor leagues and his explosion onto the scene in the major leagues, (as well as his physical appearance), I just can’t help but to think that he’s been helped by some sort of chemical substance. Baseball has done a fantastic job cleaning itself up, but Pujols remains, in my opinion, a remnant of that era of the 90’s and early 00’s. And he just kills the Cubs.

6. Mark Prior
Many of us dream of the day when we can see Mark in a Cubs uniform again being escorted off the mound by a trainer.
So many Cubs fans wish Mark Prior would come back to the Cubs and be that same pitcher he was in 2003…they want the Cubs to take another flyer on him and his towel. It sits in our heads that possibility of him making it back and becoming successful and that he does it for some other team, it would just remind us of what could have been. He needs to go away so we don't have to live with the idea that we let him get away. And having his name in the news just reminds us of 2003.

5. Jeffery Loria
Not many people can screw over two organizations.
You all must think I have some vendetta against this guy. The former owner of the Montreal Expos and the current owner of the Florida Marlins is easily the worst owner in Major League Baseball. Loria took a good baseball town in Montreal (really...it actually was) and turned off the entire fan base to the product he had. (The strike in 1994 didn’t help either…but still). After Montreal spent over $1 billion dollars in Olympic Stadium, with much of that money to cater to the needs of the Expos, Loria demanded a new stadium to be paid for by the city. Loria didn’t get his way and cried to the commissioner’s office to help him out. In a pretty shady deal, Major League Baseball bought the Expos from Loria, sold the Boston Red Sox to the owners of the Florida Marlins, and then gave the Marlins to Loria under some rather questionable financing. Loria unfortunately won the 2003 World Series in his first year of ownership in Miami, but has since run his team in a very similar fashion to the Expos, with good young talent being continuously pumped out, but that talent gets moved off the roster to control costs. Then he stomped his feet again and demanded a new stadium from Miami. Unlike Montreal, Miami complied and is now building a new retractable roof stadium for the Marlins with very little money being contributed by Loria. Then a report a few months ago saying that the Marlins (along with the Pirates) have been extremely profitable over the last number of seasons even while demanding they didn’t have money for a new stadium or to spend on players while taking revenue sharing money. This guy is a bum.

4. Ryne Sandberg
Ryno, and many Cubs fans, aren't smiling much right now.
You're saying, "Ryno? Really Doc?" Yes. I love Sandberg, as you all know. But he shouldn’t be the Cubs manager. People are sad that he left the Cubs. I’m not because his presence will be constant distraction. This isn’t Ryno’s fault…he feels like he has something substantial to contribute. He probably does. He could probably be a good manager. The problem is that even if he gets a job with another team, his presence in baseball will be a distraction for the Cubs and their fans. The discussion every time he is in town with that other team will turn to whether or not he should have been named the Cubs manager and how poorly the Cubs treated him. As much as I tell people to just get over it…Cubs fans won’t get over it. And the only solution is for Ryno to just go away. It's sad, but true.

3. Angel Hernandez
Not sure who he's throwing out of the game, but I bet this was a blown call.
Angel Hernandez is, in my opinion, easily the worst umpire in baseball. Cubs fans remember Hernandez most for being the guy who threw Steve McMichael out of the ballpark in 2001 for criticizing him over the PA system during the seventh inning stretch. Hernandez has been involved in a number of other incidents over his career and is known for a quick trigger throwing players and coaches out of games. Just the fact that Hernandez has been involve in so many “incidents” should confirm that he has issues as an umpire. Good umpires should be virtually invisible during a game…Hernandez often times stands out. Shockingly, Hernandez was one of the umpires for this year’s ALCS, and actually appeared to do a pretty good job. But Hernandez’s often erratic strike zone and poor judgment of close calls makes me wonder if there aren’t at least about 50 minor league umpires out there that couldn’t do his job better than he does.

2. Scott Boras
The Yankees are his sugar daddy.
Agent extraordinaire. If the owners just has some balls to stand up to this man and not let him take advantage of them over and over and over and over and over again, then this man’s power and influence over so many aspects of the game would just go away. I like blaming Boras for the fact that my ticket prices have increased so much. Is he Alfonso Soriano’s agent? Zambrano? Fukudome? No. But because of his ability to overprice his clients and still dup some stupid owner into paying that price, he has raised the salary level for players all over the game. He has hurt the ability of a lower income family to pay to go see a game. I guess, with that being said, I wouldn’t mind having him as my agent next time I go in to ask my boss for a raise.

1. Bud Selig
"Did I hear that right, Doc doesn't like me?"
Oh Bud…how I hate thee. Let me count the ways:
1. Steroids.
2. 1994 strike
3. Expansion
4. The wild card
5. Interleague play
6. World Baseball Classic
7. All-Star Game tie
8. The Expos/Nationals thing
9. TV contracts with Fox and TBS
10. Collusion
I’d continue, but that would be piling it on. In theory, we have only 2 more years of Selig’s reign of terror. The concern is that he will have his successor already in place by the time he leaves, giving baseball little opportunity to actually put in place a person with the best interests of the entire game as a priority over the interests of just the owners. It is the sheer power of the game itself that has allowed it to overcome the destructive activities of Bud Selig.


There you have it. Flame away!